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Showing posts from March, 2018

The Selling of Gongs As Snake Oil

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There's a sucker born every minute” is a phrase that was popular among gamblers and confidence men in the past. They often used sleight of hand, or double talk, in order to bilk ordinary people out of their money and property.

And things haven't changed much today. With the amazing growth and popularity of using Gongs for personal or group therapy/healing/meditation, there has also been a rise in people hoping to find a sucker to sell their snake oil to.

Today's subject has pinned the BullShit Meter totally into the red…




This advertisement for a 4-day Gong Masters Training Workshop, came across my radar recently. Please check it out here.




They make some interesting claims, throw in some flowery new age language filled with buzz words (Gong master, cosmic, life transforming, ancient, powerful, activation), and make some amazing promises. I have to say that I'm impressed. But what really gets me is the very last sentence at the bottom, after the list of What You Learn:
“This…

It's All About The Rhythm

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Rhythm, it's all around us, we can't really escape it, but some Gong players seem to. I watch a lot of Gong videos and am amazed at how many I see where the player seems to be just haphazardly hitting the Gong! A stroke here, a hit there, maybe another just for good measure.

As a trained percussionist, maybe I can't help but think in rhythm. It comes to me as natural as breathing. But apparently, others don't think that way at all.

Here's a question I recently came across on Facebook:


I am currently working with Neptune Paiste planet gong and I find that whilst I work through intuition I seem to always end up playing rhythmically. The rhythms change but it is still rhythmical. I enjoy, and so far, those I have played for also enjoy but I often watch other players, normally with much larger gongs striking / stroking with much less rhythm. Am I going to have to wait for a bigger gong before I can start to just allow the wave of sound to fully rise and fall without the n…

A Look Back - Happy Blog Anniversaries!

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On March 15, 2014, my hand pushed send on the 1st post of this blog, Mindful Listening. A lot has happened since then, including 145 more blog posts. Like my other blogs, this started out as some thoughts and ideas that I needed to get out of my brain. There was never an objective, or a goal to reach for. There was never a timeline or overall theme or plot. Most of the time I don't look beyond the next post I'm writing. Most of the time I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to write for my next post. But ideas kept presenting themselves, and before I knew it, it's 4 years later.




A Writer's Life
It helps that besides being a musician, I'm also a writer by trade. I've been writing as long as I can remember. When I was a little kid, I used a typewriter we had at home to put out a little newspaper where I would make up news stories and show it to my family. I was always writing stories. In high school, I got involved in the school paper. And I just kept writin…

Should You Study Gongs?

Another interesting week on Facebook, with a large discussion where someone asked whether you should study with anyone if you play Gongs. Here's a comment that discussion that I often hear echoed by various people:
You do not need a teacher. Explore your gong and it will teach! Just as it taught the first gong master who then self proclaimed to be a masterI find this very short sighted, and frankly, a load of crap. It's a very simplistic idea that really does a disservice to those who have studied diligently for years. Let's take a look at it.

You do not need a teacher. Explore your gong and it will teach!

As I said, this is a very simplistic statement. One thing with the Gong, is that it is very easy to play in a basic manner. There is no need to develop special technique, like you would in playing a wind or string instrument. You just hit the Gong, and you get a great sound. But as I said, that's very simplistic. Anyone, from a young child to the elderly, can play a Gon…